My friend and I are working on a project for our physics class and we need to find the acceleration of a baseball in our trebuchet from rest point to launch point. Does anyone have an idea of an easy way we could find this acceleration.
You could find the horizontal displacement of the projectile for two horizontal targets with different elevations. This will give you three points of the parabola, which will allow you to find the vertex. The vertex will allow you to find the initial vertical velocity. You could then find the time it takes to for the projectile to go from the trebuchet to the vertex, and use the horizontal displacement between the two to find the horizontal velocity. That should work without using any high-speed cameras.
Wouldn't the acceleration, however, always be 9.8 m/s^2 down?